Create The Life You Want By Changing Context

change life contextchanging your lifeThis is an article about making profound changes in your life by changing your spiritual beliefs and how you view the world and universe in which you live.

What I’m about to say in this article should not be construed as anything religious, or even spiritual for that matter.

I’m actually quite tired of hearing all these worn out words and phrases that seem to take on a life of their own and suddenly become more important than the very things they were once assigned to describe.

Semantics aside, I want to talk about the laws of the universe. Not some hokey belief system, but actual laws that govern our existence.

Can I prove these laws? Not scientifically, no. Maybe someday, I’ve no doubt. For now I’m stuck with having to put forward a set of ideas that will be construed as just another belief system. My version of reality. Not necessarily everyone else’s.

Sigh. This is unfortunately the nature of things. We need to package these experiences and ideas up into handy little belief systems in order to communicate them to others. It kind of doesn’t do them justice when you do that.

These representations (verbal, written or otherwise) of what you feel to be true about the world in which you live, are inadequate in many ways. They imply a fixed belief system, something concrete, when really we are just talking about feelings, intuition.

I’m going to try and communicate here though, the context in which I live my life these days. It’s by no means a unique context. Lots of other people live within the same context, more or less.

Importantly, it’s a context that I have come to accept by way of my own experiences. It was not brainwashed into me like many belief systems (religion, hey…pointing no elbows…). I came to my own conclusions based on the kind of results I was getting from life.

Even more importantly, the many other people who have come to live within a very similar (if not identical in some cases) context have come to do so through their own free will.

Not exactly a scientific conclusion, I know, but it’s the closest I have to one.


Context And The Meaning Of Life

So like I just said, if you want to get certain results in your life or achieve certain goals, you will have to first examine the context in which you are living your life, the context you are operating within.

Call this context spiritual, if you like. I prefer to refer to it as your views and beliefs on the nature of reality.

Most of us are smart enough to know that everyone creates and lives within their own particular reality. What pans out in that reality depends largely upon the nature of that reality, it’s laws of operation, it’s rules for creation.

What you ultimately experience in your life is dictated by the laws of your particular reality.

As a result, some things you are open to; other things you are closed off to.

Or, to put it another way: Context dictates goals. Goals dictate projects. Projects dictate actions. Actions dictate results.

It therefore makes plenty of sense that if you want your life to be a certain way, if you want to achieve certain goals that get you particular results, then you have to look at the context in which you are living your life, and change the context if necessary in order to better facilitate your goals.


Disempowering Contexts

Over the years I’ve lived within many different contexts, most of them not all that empowering. I drifted for a long time, not really sure what to do or who to be. My life context was a wilderness in which I frequently got lost.

I’ve also spent some time in a hedonistic context, spending my time pleasure seeking; partying and taking recreational drugs. That was fun for short bursts, but overall, disempowering and detrimental to my mental and psychical health.

Similarly, living within a very materialistic context didn’t serve me much either. For more years than I care to mention, my main goal in life was to immerse myself in music and movies. I lived for collecting CD’s and DVD’s and all the hi-tech equipment used for playing them. Every day was a hunt for some new CD or special edition DVD. The thrill was in the hunt, and when it ended I was left invariably disappointed, already hungering for the next search.

Living your life by materialism leaves you feeling empty. Your life is void of any meaning. You might as well be a droid. A disturbing percentage of the population lives like this. I couldn’t any longer, so I changed context and those once prized possessions soon became uninteresting pieces of plastic to me (it’s amazing what a shift in perspective can do for your outlook).

That next context was made up of so-called conspiracy theories and marked by my constant anger and dismay at the state of the world in which we live. In that context, even though I learned a lot about how the world really works in reality, I felt alienated and alone.

Like everyone else who thinks they know the truth about the world and humanity, I felt like I was the only one who saw this truth. This made connecting with people quite difficult. I saw everyone else as sheep. People’s ignorance dismayed and depressed me. On the whole, this wasn’t a very empowering context in which to live my life, even though I thought it was at the time. Way too much darkness and not enough light.

Same as atheism, which I lived by for a long time. The belief that there is no spiritual entity, only science and numbers, left me spiritually closed off and not open to other possibilities. It also made me arrogant and disrespectful of other people’s beliefs.

I abandoned atheism a long time ago. It’s not that I believe in a God or anything now, but I am open to any possibility that might exist. The universe has a certain way of working and I tend to go with that. I don’t label it because I don’t feel the need too. It’s just a way of living.

This way of living puts me within a context of personal empowerment. It’s a context that I’ve tried out before in the past, but my actions in the past where never fully congruent with my beliefs, and consequently I ended up falling back into disempowering beliefs when I didn’t get the results I expected.

In a nutshell, I didn’t back up my beliefs with enough action. This is where almost everyone who fails at achieving their goals, go’s wrong. If you don’t take appropriate action against your goals you will get nowhere.


An Empowering Context

This year has probably been the best in my life so far in terms of moving forward and achieving things that are congruent with who I am and who I want to be, and this is largely because the context within which I live my life now is empowering—it empowers me to take plenty of action to achieve the goals I have set for myself.

So the question is: What is the most empowering context in which to live your life; the context that will allow you to realise as much of your potential as possible?

You may believe that organized religion will offer you this context, but there is a problem with that. As Steve Pavlina puts it:

“The problem [with organized religions] is that they all have a fixed perspective. If you look at reality from any single perspective, you are only perceiving the projection of reality onto your belief system, not reality itself. The more rigid your perspective, the more detail you miss (detail which doesn’t fall upon your projection but does fall upon others), and the less of your true potential you’re able to tap.”

I am not suggesting you abandon your religious beliefs. I am only suggesting that those beliefs may be keeping your full potential caged. They may be limiting you without you even knowing it.

The only way to see if this is so is to adopt a different context or belief system and test it out for a while. I have adopted many different belief systems over the years, including religious ones, and none of them allowed me to grow in the way that my current belief system does.

If you could even call my current context a belief system. It’s not fixed like most belief systems are. It’s fluid. More like a field of possibility in which I respond differently according to what I discover about it.

I go on feeling and intuition a lot, rather than logical thought. By remaining open to possibility and trusting my instincts, I have become a co-creator in a world of infinite possibility. The more I trust in this process, the more clarity I seem to gain and the more internally congruent I become.

I view my life as a creative project, in which the objective is to tap as much of my potential as possible. Coincidentally, by tapping your own potential, you are also helping others along the way. Personal growth and serving others go hand in hand. You help others by helping yourself first. That’s a universal law, just one of the universal laws that I try to abide by.

It’s not that these laws are set in stone for me (although they may be in reality, who knows?), it’s just that I get the best results from following them. That’s all there is to it. I have no real emotional attachment to any of this. I see what works and go with the flow. Tomorrow I may discover a different, even more empowering way of looking at things, and my context may change.

I approach my life context like I approach my self defence training: I do what works for me.

I have no desire to be like Jesus or Buddha or anyone else for that matter. Living a congruent life where you unleash all of your potential does not involve trying to emulate someone else, real or imagined.

You are not Jesus. Only Jesus was Jesus. You are you, so try to be you. Trying to be like someone else leads to frustration when we don’t match up; and disappointment when we don’t realise our potential because we are too busy trying to be like someone else.


Create Your Own Context To Co-Create The Life You Want

Create your own context in which to live. Don’t base it someone else’s. In creating your own context you are increasing the likelihood of you fulfilling your potential, and ironically you will end up becoming just as accomplished and virtuous as those people you once aspired to be, but in your own unique way.

I hope all this made sense to you. I’ll leave you with another quote from Steve Pavlina, that sums up this whole discussion quite well:

“Congruency is clarity. When you get clear about what you truly believe about reality by observing your actions and admitting the deepest, darkest truths to yourself that you never wanted to face, you’ll set yourself on a path of growth that will put all your earlier accomplishments to shame. You’ll unlock access to resources that were previously dormant — greater intelligence, greater awareness, greater conscience. And you’ll finally start living up to the greatness that has been too long buried under a pile of denial. Don’t be afraid to face who you really are. You’re a lot stronger than you realize.”

And I say amen to that.

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6 Responses to “Create The Life You Want By Changing Context”

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  1. Zara says:

    Apparantly you didn’t offend too many people, lol. I don’t know if we really have that much power over our lives (science would suggest otherwise) or whether free will even exists at all (a notty philosophical question) but I do think happiness, in as much as it’s attainable on this earth, consists of accomplishments (increases in knowledge, skill, status…) which increase our autonomy and thus our sense of self-worth. In order to accomplish this you need, as you rightly put it, to examine who you really are and what you want out of life so you can then map out a path towards your goals. Allow me to adorn your essay with a couple of sayings I found to be very true and helpful:

    “The unexamined life is not worh living.” (Socrates)

    “My formula for happiness: a yes, a no, a goal and a straight line towards that goal.” (Nietzsche)

    It’s funny to see how many people just drift through life without much thought about what truly matters so they settle for whatever happens to cross their path or just comes easy to them. I for one am quite conscious of the fact I’m going to die (meaning my time here is limited) so I’ll try to live in such a way that a) I don’t have to be ashamed of what I’ve done, b) my life has proven valuable to others and c) I’ve accomplished something I can be proud of. A shining example I always keep in mind is my grandfather: he came from a rather poor family with alot of problems (alcoholism for one) yet instead of giving up (what his brothers did) he learned a craft, started a business and forged a great life for himself, my grandmother (whom he loved to death) and his children who never wanted for anything, be it material things, opportunities or the love of their parents. To me he exemplifies what a man should be and he’ll always be a personal hero of mine. If I become half the man he was I’ll consider my life a succes.

    • Neal Martin says:

      That’s probably a good thing that I didn’t cause offence lol…it means I have enlightened and open-minded readers who don’t take offence at the silliest of things!

      I suppose you try to leave some sort of legacy behind you before you go, affect some small change in the world. That’s why I love teaching people self defence. The potential is there to make a great difference in their lives, make them more confident etc., maybe even spur them on to greater things in their own lives.

      I’m all about fulfilling whatever potential I have now, and helping whoever I can along the way. It’s a philosophy that works for me and one that I will continue to live by, as so far, it has produced the greatest results for me.

      Great comments as always, Zara. Thanks for your interest in and support off this blog. Your comments add a lot of value here and I appreciate you taking time out to write them. Happy Christmas to you and I hope you have a great new year!

      • Zara says:

        Thank you Neal for your kind words: while I know my knowledge is limited (both in general and in the context of SD) I do try to supplement my training with consulting experts (mostly through reading and DVD’s) and critical thinking. Your blog is one of those resources I consult on a regular basis and I’ve taken a lot away from it (aswell as your e-books which you so kindly shared for free). I think your writings are clear, well-composed and to the point and they offer something for the novice and the (more) experienced martial artist alike: be it new information or an old idea or concept presented in a different or challenging way so as to provide food for thought. What I especially like are your articles on self-improvement and combating negativity in all its ugly forms: we in the west, with all our scientific knowledge and technical know-how, seem to have (largely) lost the art of living well (eudamonia) or the practical wisdom to properly define our values and organise our lives so as to reap the greatest benefits for both ourselves and others. Peope spend so much time thinking about how to get everything we want (instrumental thinking springing from narrow-mindedness) while it’s rare to meet individuals who actually reflect on these goals themselves, their own ego and the big choices which define who we really are and are capable of becoming in the future (holistic thinking). It’s clear you belong in the latter category and the fact that you communicate about your history (background), experiences (positive and negative) and ideas is an inspiration to others, like myself, struggeling with the same problem(s) and it’s certainly a relief compared to all the negativity (in our own lives and through the media) that crops up everywhere. What makes your blog valuable is that you actually put your ideas into practice (both in SD and in life) as opposed to people who only dabble in theory and thus are hardly a reliable source of sound information and advice. Perhaps later I’ll formulate some thoughts concerning this piece since it most certainly merits reflecting on, in fact it’s probably one of the best you’ve written up to date.

        So far I’ve quite enjoyed our little discussions and I hope/expect them to continue in the future. I wish you a merry Christmas and the best for 2013.

        • Neal Martin says:

          I think personal development is a big part of martial arts/SD training. I’ve always had an interest in it, alongside the training. It’s only this past couple of years however, that I’ve managed to get myself together, so to speak, and really find the momentum for change that I’ve always sought. At some point, things started to go right for me and I felt like I was finally on the right path at last, after years of searching. It’s still a major challenge to keep to that path, but because I’m more focused now than I’ve ever been, I feel like I can stay the distance.

          I think most people struggle with focus. There are far too many distractions in most people’s lives now, too much to steer them of course. It’s a daily battle to maintain focus I find. Some people are better at it than others. Some don’t even try. Others still don’t even know that they have to try, they just drift.

          I like to write about my experiences. If doing so help’s people in some way, great. It’s nice to be a source of inspiration for some, that just inspires me even more.

          Still alive, I see? So much for the Mayan prophecy, eh? Another mass distraction tactic, no doubt…but to distract from what, I wonder?

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